Producing the vowel/a/ prior to speaking inhibits stuttering in adults in the English language.
ABSTRACT This study investigated the effects of producing and listening to the vowel /a/ on the frequency of overt stuttering moments in eight people who stuttered. Stuttering frequency counts were made for the speech produced in the control condition, and after each of these four experimental conditions: (a) producing a vowel /a/ for 4 s; (b) producing a vowel /a/ for 4 s and waiting for 4 s; (c) listening to a recording of the vowel /a/ for 4 s; and (d) listening to a recording of the vowel /a/ for 4 s and waiting for 4 s. A significant reduction in the stuttering frequency was only observed following production of the vowel /a/ without a 4 s delay (P=0.02), suggesting that the vowel production prior to speech, serves as a temporary fluency enhancer. Its similarity to the occurrence of overt stuttering moments (e.g. discrete part-word repetitions and prolongation's) and its relationship to the fundamental nature of the pathology are discussed.